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In the 8th century, an evil ruler in Scandinavia drove the inhabitants to Iceland. When they fled, they took everything with them, including their horses. It is said that they only took their best and dearest horses with them on the run. Unfortunately, when they arrived in Iceland, they exploited all the resources that this small island had to offer, i.e. - soon the whole island was deforested. Therefore, everything must now be reforested. The horse also fell into this usage and was important for locomotion and work. However, it was highly valued and became a symbol in legends, rites and grave accompaniment.

In the year 1000, Christianity came to Iceland. Horse meat was no longer eaten and horses were no longer allowed to accompany graves. But there were still races and stallion fights as popular entertainment. In 1592 stallion fights were forbidden and the last fight took place in 1623.

In 1783 there was a terrible volcanic eruption with ash rain, which caused 70-80% of the horses to die. Only the strongest survived.
In 1840, people wanted these strong horses on the European continent for use in coal mines. Due to their appropriate size, the Icelandic horses performed their duties in the pits there together with Shetland horses.


In the 20th century, due to the economic upswing and the associated motorisation, horses became a leisure activity and a hobby. This was followed in 1909 by the law prohibiting the import of horses into Iceland to protect horses and breeding. In 1922 the first horse club "Fakur" was founded in Reykjavik, followed in 1950 by the first Landsmot.

In 1950, Ursula Bruhns in Germany called for the rescue of Iceland's battle foals. The associated simple form of husbandry and the sympathetic nature of the Icelandic horses triggered a real boom. Before the Icelandic horses, the cavalry in Europe was characterized by a very military and elitist style of riding. With the form of keeping in the open stable, which practically everyone could realize at home in the garden, Ursula Bruhns brought the horses closer to the people and created leisure riding. At that time the horses still came to Europe by ship, later by plane.

In 1956 the first Icelanders came to Zurich, Switzerland. From 1960 - 1980 around 500 Icelandic horses landed in Switzerland with 2 direct planes. That was a huge sensation at the time, which also interested the press. One of our pioneers, Eve Barmettler, was there live and provided us with great photos. Other pioneer families were Isenbügel, Maissen, Barandun, Indermaur and many more. It is a great privilege that our founders can still embody and tell the story.

In 1962 the Swiss Pony Club was founded, which is now the IPVCH. In 1969 the FEIF was founded with our Swiss representatives Max Indermaur and Ewald Isenbügel. At this time the first Swiss Championships took place in Einsiedeln. In 1970 the first European Championships took place in Aegidienberg with the Feldmann family. In 1991 the first World Cup took place in Sweden. In 1995, 2009 and 2025 the Icelandic Horse World Championships took place in Switzerland.




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